Where To Put Motion Sensor Lights


So, you’ve realised your home could use a little more light when it gets dark. However, that bright spark suddenly presents another problem – where exactly should you place motion sensor lights in order to make the most of them? Thankfully, it’s not as problematic an issue as you might first think, as motion sensor lights come in a range of shapes and sizes – and serve a variety of practical functions.

Fathoming distance in the dark

Firstly, it’s important to know how motion sensor lights work. This isn’t to suggest that you can’t already comprehend the simple process of motion triggering a sensor and, thus, resulting in a light turning on – it’s more about understanding the distance involved in the motion sensor process.

For instance, this motion sensored spotlight will detect movement up to 6m away, which is roughly the height of a two-storey home from floor to guttering. So, if a motion sensor light like this were to be placed at roughly the height of one storey, such as above a garage, it would detect motion within 6 metres – up to 20 feet away, if that makes things clearer!

In contrast, these dual motion sensored path lights pick out movement within half this distance, making them far better for placing low to the ground. So, in essence, knowing where to put motion sensor lights also means knowing your motion sensor lights first. Here are several ideas for positioning them around your property.

Covering the driveway

As above, this could be directly above the garage. However, as the garage door, when raised, could obscure the light and sensor, a motion sensor light would be better placed to one side, facing at a downward angle, thereby allowing your entire driveway to be illuminated at night or during dark mornings.

Protecting your patio

Similarly, a motion sensor light that brightens up your patio at night should be placed at an angle that ensures the entire patio is lit up when motion is detected. If you have a garden beyond the patio, the light could be placed at an angle to detect motion in the distance as well as on the patio itself. The TC-390 UltraBright spotlight can be easily adjusted to point towards different areas and so could be a useful option if you use different areas of your property at various times throughout the year.

Entryways and paths

If you have a number of different pathways around your property, your route into the home or around the garden could be easily illuminated with a range of sensor lights. You could either position them above, looking down on the path, or position them low to the ground to bask your path in the light as you move around the property. The dual motion path lights, mentioned above, are one option, or you could choose these easy-to-install TC-592 path lights as an alternative.

Where NOT to place sensor lights

Finally, there are several other things to consider before setting up your motion sensor lights. Wherever possible, avoid areas where the sensor is blocked, even partially, by walls, porches, trees, hedges or large garden furniture. Modern motion sensor lights are certainly smart devices, but not psychic, and won’t detect movement where it can’t be seen. 

A good rule of thumb, if you’re not sure, is to see if the light casts any long or large shadows when the motion sensor is triggered. If so, you may need to get back up the ladders and find a new spot – or otherwise move a couple of things on the ground. If you have any further questions about choosing the right motion sensor light for your home – get in touch with us for advice. 

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